This key socio-emotional skill is the ability to recognize and name your own emotions and those of others. It is very closely associated with emotional intelligence.

There are different levels of skill development with emotional awareness ranging from identification of somatic/visceral reactions up to a full understanding of another’s feelings by seeing themselves in the other person’s perspective in an unbiased way. This is built with time and practice.

Emotional Awareness is important because understanding one’s own feelings and the feelings of others is how we build connections through being able to talk about emotions (our own and emotions of others), empathy, and by regulating our own emotions.

Children who have well developed Emotional Awareness will be aware of their own feelings of fear, happiness, frustration, love, etc and be able to communicate them. They will be able to empathize with others, and experience more than one emotion (excitement and nervousness) and recognize when that happens.

Emotional Awareness is built by caregivers labeling emotions, listening to and validating those emotions, reading books about different emotions such as The Color Monster and the Way Past series of books, playing games such as Emotions Charades, Mirror Mirror, or Dancing Emotions and singing songs about emotions.

For more activities that help build a child’s emotional awareness skills, visit